The technology company formally submitted the appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), which manages disputes against the British competition watchdog’s rulings and the deal was earlier conditionally approved by the European Commission


UK CMA's block on Activision Blizzard deal is contested by Microsoft. (Credit: Tyler Lahti/Wikimedia Commons)

Microsoft has reportedly filed an appeal against the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)’s decision to block its previously announced $68.7bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard over concerns that it would harm the cloud gaming market.

The technology company has formally submitted the appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), which manages disputes against the UK CMA rulings, reported Reuters.

Microsoft communications director Robin Koch has been quoted by Reuters, as saying: “We can confirm we have filed our appeal.”

The British competition watchdog blocked the deal last month citing that the deal would result in reduced innovation and less choice for UK gamers over the coming years.

Its decision to block the acquisition came following the failure of Microsoft’s proposed remedies to satisfactorily address the concerns outlined in the regulator’s provisional findings published in February this year.

Earlier this month, the European Commission (EC) conditionally cleared the Microsoft- Activision Blizzard deal under the European Union (EU) Merger Regulation.

The clearance came after the conclusion of an in-depth phase 2 probe which found that Microsoft would not be able to harm competing consoles and rival multi-game subscription services but can stifle competition in the distribution of games through cloud game streaming services.

The EC’s concerns were addressed by Microsoft through a proposal to offer a 10-year free license to users in the European Economic Area (EEA) and a corresponding free license to cloud game streaming service providers for 10 years.

Microsoft announced its proposed deal in January last year.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also sought to block the merger through an administrative complaint made in December 2022.

According to the US federal agency, the deal would result in the technology company suppressing rivals to its Xbox gaming consoles as well as its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.